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Ted Williams vs. Left-handed Pitchers

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  • #16
    --What glaring weakness? We only have data for the back half of his career and he put up an 895 OPS vs LHP then. There can be little doubt it was well over 900 in his prime. That is hardly "paltry". Williams was not somebody who any sane manager would consider platooning or even moving down in the order vs LHP.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by leecemark
      --What glaring weakness? We only have data for the back half of his career and he put up an 895 OPS vs LHP then. There can be little doubt it was well over 900 in his prime. That is hardly "paltry". Williams was not somebody who any sane manager would consider platooning or even moving down in the order vs LHP.
      First, that's not park adjusted. A proper park adjustment would knock that raw OPS down quite a bit.

      Second, he was a sub .300 hitter with a .473 slugging average against lefties.

      1) Compared to his overall career line, yeah, that's paltry. It's also paltry compared to his line against RHP. He hit about 50 points higher, and slugged 180 points higher against right handed pitching.

      2)Viewed in light of the fact that people consider him the greatest ever, it's a glaring weakness. He has the second lowest HR% against LHP of any great to alltime great hitter in baseball history. I think the reasonable people here would expect the greatest hitter ever to be at least great- if not outstanding- against left pitching as well as right handed pitching...not necessarily as good as they were against righties, but certainly better than .297 with a .473 slugging.

      But maybe our standards are different when we say best ever. I dunno.
      Last edited by csh19792001; 01-18-2007, 03:19 PM.

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      • #18
        I see that retrosheet splits information is not available for the first half of Ted Williams' career. I also know that the crack of his bat somewhat disappeared after his 1950 injury (although he could still hit for average).

        I will be VERY surprised if further research shows Williams to hit below .300 against LH pitchers prior to that 1950 season. But I also know that LH pitchers rarely threw against the Red Sox IN BOSTON, because most of the Red Sox power hitters (other than Wiliams) were RH hitters who drove the ball over the Green Monster.
        Luke

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        • #19
          Originally posted by 538280
          I According to the same member who wrote the pice being referenced Cobb hit 20 points below his career average against LHP. I don't think a 25 or so point difference is such a huge thing.
          We all know that LH hitters hit better against RH pitchers, and RH hitters hit better against LH pitchers. The great majority of pitchers throw right-handed. Therefore it shouldn't surprise us that most of the players with high career BA were left-handed hitters (as were Cobb and Williams).

          That is what makes Rogers Hornsby's stats so amazing. He was a right-handed hitter who had to face mostly RH pitching, yet he has the #2 career batting average of all time!

          Eight of the top ten hitters (lifetime BA) were left-handed hitters.
          Luke

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          • #20
            Originally posted by HitchedtoaSpark
            While fully cognizant of the fact that left-handed batters tend to do rather worse against left-handed pitching than they do against right-handed pitching, my point is that Ruth's and Cobb's markedly superior numbers against lefties seem to present for them a compelling case as greatest hitter of all time over Williams. I wouldn't say Williams was neutralized against lefties, but he certainly seemed somewhat less than the greatest hitter who ever lived when facing left-handed pitching--something that can't be said about Ruth or Cobb.

            Hopefully, someday we can get complete RHP vs. LHP splits for Williams.
            How is it that you can find RHP vs. LHP splits data for the full careers of Cobb and Ruth, but not for Ted Williams?
            Luke

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            • #21
              Here are some numbers of Williams vs left handed pitchers pitching complete games. Small sample but here are some seasons.

              -----------------AB----------Ba.-------Hrs
              1939------------30----------.267------2
              1940------------50----------.308------2
              1941------------31----------.333------1
              1942------------11----------.273------0
              1946------------36----------.139------1
              1947------------47----------.255------1
              1948------------40----------.275------1
              1949------------23----------.348------2
              1950------------46----------.109------1
              1951------------55----------.255------2
              1952 Did not face a LH pitcher that pitched a completer game.
              1953-----------10-----------.300------0
              1954-----------33-----------.242------0
              1955-----------19-----------.316------2
              1956-----------37-----------.378------3
              1957-----------15-----------.133------1
              1958-----------27-----------.111------0
              1959-----------11-----------.182------1
              1960-----------17-----------.176------0

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Appling
                We all know that LH hitters hit better against RH pitchers, and RH hitters hit better against LH pitchers. The great majority of pitchers throw right-handed. Therefore it shouldn't surprise us that most of the players with high career BA were left-handed hitters (as were Cobb and Williams).

                That is what makes Rogers Hornsby's stats so amazing. He was a right-handed hitter who had to face mostly RH pitching, yet he has the #2 career batting average of all time!

                Eight of the top ten hitters (lifetime BA) were left-handed hitters.
                Of course, which makes this, again, not that huge a deal. The big difference seems to be in power, where Williams' career SLG vs. LHP was probably 100-150 ponts below his overall SLG. It still was probably .500 or close to it though so I don't think it's a huge weakness.

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                • #23
                  Not sure what that was designed to illustrate other than the fact that pitchers who throw complete games are usually having a good day on the mound.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by 538280
                    I've seen you mention this before and I don't get it.
                    When comparing Ted against players who didn't play in Fenway, the park's foul territory matters. Being a fan of Reggie, you should understand that. You've mentioned the Coliseum's huge territory as a pro for Reggie. The opposite should apply with Ted. Stay consistent

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948
                      When comparing Ted against players who didn't play in Fenway, the park's foul territory matters. Being a fan of Reggie, you should understand that. You've mentioned the Coliseum's huge territory as a pro for Reggie. The opposite should apply with Ted. Stay consistent
                      Right, but i still dont think that offsets what Fenway does to a lefty pull hitter. Not the nicest place to hit in unless you can take it the other way.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by EvanAparra
                        I know it was changed during Williams time, but this is where I think OPS+ underrates him. I dont think Fenway gave him what it gave everyone else.
                        Don't under-estimate the change. And it was basically for him to enjoy. Seen his splits lately?

                        Can you elaborate on the OPS+ part though. Why didn't Fenway give him what it gave everyone else. What's the theory there?

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948
                          Don't under-estimate the change. And it was basically for him to enjoy. Seen his splits lately?

                          Can you elaborate on the OPS+ part though. Why didn't Fenway give him what it gave everyone else. What's the theory there?
                          Fenway is basically a right handed hitter's paradise. The wall helps them out immensly. However, Williams is a left hander and doesnt get that benefit, but still gets the same discount as right handers that hit in Fenway. Correct me if you disagree.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by SHOELESSJOE3
                            Here are some numbers of Williams vs left handed pitchers pitching complete games.
                            Joe:

                            That's a what, .245 career average against LHP in CG's? Just another (albeit much smaller) piece of evidence to add to the pile that's already been mounting against Williams.

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                            • #29
                              csh...that's not evidence. Not evidence at ALL. What's the league BA against lefties throwing CGs? .230? And who the hell cares anyway?

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by SABR Matt
                                csh...that's not evidence. Not evidence at ALL. What's the league BA against lefties throwing CGs? .230? And who the hell cares anyway?
                                This is a guy some have touted as the greatest hitter ever. Why isn't he capable of going 3-4 against a lefty who's going good and throws a complete game.

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